Green Lentil & Spinach Dal with Spinach Flatbreads

An incredibly delicious and wholesome green lentil and spinach dal served with spinach flatbreads. Make a huge batch freeze in portions for a speedy meal.

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This is my first recipe for 2020–can you believe it?! I know it’s taken a little while as I have been caught me up with my cookbook launch! And I am completely overwhelmed, in the best way possible with all the positive responses so far and seeing you all make my recipes–I honestly can never put into words just how happy that makes me.

Creating a cookbook is a long and tiring process, but I have loved every step of the way. It’s full of ups and downs, but seeing the result is completely worth it, especially when I know you guys are loving and cooking and eating the recipes as much as I do! But I digress–back to the recipe you came here for, my delicious Green Lentil and Spinach Dal with Spinach Flatbreads.

If you have been following me for a while, (or have your hands on a copy of my book, which you can still purchase here!) you would know it’s no surprise that my first recipe would be a lentil one.

If it’s wrong to have a love affair with an ingredient, I don’t want to be right. Lentils are the perfect ingredient for a lot of reasons.

They are low in calories, rich in iron and an excellent source of protein, plus they can bulk out so many types of dishes making them the ultimate store cupboard essential to stock up on (you can find out more about what store cupboard ingredients I think should be in your kitchen at all time, and what recipes you can create with them, on this blog post here) and they are just utterly perfect for this time of the year–they are delicious, healthy and comforting.

I’ve used earthy green lentils in this dish, then added in handfuls of fresh spinach to create that glorious green colour–which I’ve made extra luxurious by swirling with a little coconut yogurt for a rich finish. I like to finish this dish with my favourite gram flour flatbreads which have a little extra spinach folded through them (a perfect way to get a little extra goodness in your belly or hiding them from your kids!). The flatbreads are super simple to make, and they are the perfect vehicle to scoop up all that delicious and divine dal.

You can serve the dish as it is, add a fresh salad, zingy slaw studded with pomegranate pearls or even roasted vegetables to the plate with lots of dips on the side. Go as crazy or as simple as you like–this dish is just the base for some wonderful food memories and to kick start 2020 in a truly appetizing style.

I always make extra portions when creating this recipe because the flavours are even better the next day once they have developed and infuse all the wonderful components, plus it freezes and keeps really well, making it the perfect meal-prepping dish. Just portion out and freeze in jars or individual portions and thaw overnight in the fridge–it can be kept in the freezer for a few weeks. The flatbreads also benefit from resting for a few hours, so if you can, make the batter in the morning to allow it to breathe, bubble and become soft and subtle.

It’s also super-adaptable, meaning you can use up any leftover veggies in the fridge or swap out for your favourite ingredients.

If you can’t find gram flour, buckwheat works just as well.
Swap out the green lentils for red or another variant or use green split peas instead.
Use rocket or any other wilting baby leaf in replacement of the spinach in both the dal or the flatbreads.
Add a swirl of coconut yoghurt or a drizzle of tahini dressing for extra creaminess and luxury.
Bulk the dal out by adding green vegetables such as courgette or green beans or mushrooms for added texture.

If you like this recipe, why not give one of my other Dal recipes a try? I’ve created a Roast Carrot Dal that is perfect when serves with a herby raita. The sweet roasted carrots work as both a thickener and flavour enhancer.

My Creamy Squash Dal with Roast Squash and a Cucumber and Mint Dip is the perfect winter warmer dish which is sweet, salty and spicy all at once.

And finally, my Beetroot Dal with Roast Beetroot and Gram Flour Flatbreads is a purply pink variant of this green dish. It’s rich and earthy but with a touch of sweetness that makes a truly show stopping meal.

green-lentil-spinach-dal-with-spinach-flatbreads 1a

Green Lentil & Spinach Dal with Spinach Flatbreads

An incredibly delicious and wholesome green lentil and spinach dal served with spinach flatbreads. Make a huge batch freeze in portions for a speedy meal.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
2-4 servings
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 200 g green lentils rinsed
  • 750 ml water
  • 150 g spinach
  • 3 tbsp coconut yogurt or cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the toppings

  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Chilli flakes
  • More coconut yogurt

For the gram flour flatbreads

  • 100 g gram flour
  • Big handful spinach roughly chopped
  • Big pinch sea salt
  • Splash olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 200 ml water

Instructions

  • First, add the oil to a large frying pan and heat to a medium heat. Add in the mustard seeds. When they pop, add in the cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, curry leaves and chilli flakes. Stir for a few seconds, then add the onion. Fry for approx 8-10 minutes on a low to medium heat until soft and browning.
  • Add in the garlic and stir for another few minutes on a low heat.
  • Now add the lentils and water. Simmer for 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.
  • Blitz the spinach in a food processor until roughly chopped up. Now add the spinach. Simmer for a further 5 minutes
  • Stir in the coconut yogurt/milk and season well.
  • Top with garam masala and more coconut yogurt.

To make the flatbreads

  • Add the gram flour and seasoning to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add in the water, olive oil, spinach and vinegar. Mix to a smooth batter.
  • Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add a little oil to the base of a non-stick small frying pan. Add 1/4 cup of the batter to the pan and swirl around the bottom.
  • Cook on a medium heat for approximately 2 minutes until there are bubbles in the bread and you can lift over to flip easily.
  • Flip and cook on the other side for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Remove from the pan and place on and cover with a clean cloth to keep warm.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
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More Recipes with Lentils or Spinach

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Rebel Recipes Website Blog Top 10 Healthy & Light 1a

38 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I’ve been looking for a green lentil recipe and can’t wait to make this today!

    I was wondering if you the coconut yoghurt/cream was optional for the dal and if I could leave it out.

    Thank you x

  2. Hi, I have read your recipe and am interested in making it. However, I am allergic to coconut. So if you would kindly suggest an alternative to it…

    Thank u…

  3. 5 stars
    My family loved the daal! I omitted the mustard seed and subbed approx 1 tbsp ground curry for the curry leaves, delicious. Served over rice with curried cauliflower. Thanks for the recipe, will definitely make again.

  4. This sounds so good. Would dried curry leaves be ok and should I leave them in or take them out before serving? Last time I cooked with dried ones they weren’t very nice

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe, it was great! I didn’t have curry leaves, I added a pinch of lime zest, and also fenugreek and fennel seeds. The lentils took longer as always 😀 I also made those flatbreads but I think my flour was too coarse as I made it myself, will try with store-bought next time. Should they be crispy or soft?

  6. Hi Niki

    I have just made this to have tomorrow after work. Just had to sample and it’s amazing. I’ll pass on the recipe to my sister. I’ll be trying the roasted carrot dal next time.

    Thank you for a fantastic recipe

    Helen

  7. Hey!

    Looks delicious! I can’t find the curry leaves where I live. What can I substitute this with?

    thanks for sharing this amazing recipe with us!

    Amy

  8. Hi Niki, I would like to ask what texture should be flatbreads? I made them today and they are more like crepes than bread texture (I imagine something like pita bread). Not sure if it is right or maybe I should put more flour in batter? Thank you.

    1. Hi Lina
      You are correct – these are made with a batter rather than a dough.
      If you prefer a dry dough I wouldnt recommend using gram flour as its too dry.
      Lots more flatbread recipes on my site if you prefer a different type.
      Love
      Niki xx

  9. This looks so nourishing! Can’t wait to serve to my family.

    Is this recipe in the Rebel recipes cookbook?Gram flour also known as Besan or chicpea flour can be found in Indian grocery stores.

    Cheers

  10. Hi Kate, I regularly buy gram flour at ASDA and believe you can get it at other British supermarkets as well. Sometimes it’s called chickpea flour and is sold with rice rather than regular flours.

    Great that the recipe works with buckwheat too though!

    Ania

  11. Please excuse my ignorance at my age 86, a widower. I am relatively new to cooking. Can’t find Gram flour. Have Plain and self raising would these do at a pinch, or is there an alternative?

  12. This was Amazing! My children devoured it. I didn’t have the curry leaves, black mustard seed, green lentils, or coconut cream. I used yellow mustard seed, red onion, red lentils, and ghee instead. I don’t know what it should have tasted like but it was fantastic!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It will certainly become a regular in our home.

    1. Hi Liz
      They do vary, just simmer for another 5-10 minutes until they are softer.
      Green are harder than red after cooking.
      Much love
      Niki xxx

  13. Hi, I’m dying to try this recipe!

    Does it matter what spinach I use? Could I use baby spinach ?

    Thanks

  14. HI there, I am hosting a vegan supper club this weekend and would like to know if i can prepare the flatbread mixture during the day and then cook in the evening when my guests are here so they are fresh? Also I will cook the curry in the day and reheat gently in the evening, do you think this will be OK? Thank you so much, Nicki

    1. Hi Nicola
      Yes absolutely – in fact the batter benefits form resting for a few hrs.
      I hope you have a wonderful supper club.
      Love, Niki xxx

  15. Made the green lentil dal this evening. It was amazing, really authentic tasting. Didn’t have gram flour (very hard to find in the uk) so used buckwheat – seemed to do the trick. Will make double next time so that there are some leftovers for lunch!

    1. Hi Kate
      So happy you like!
      Sorry you couldnt find the gram flour – it should be in most supermarkets. Buckwheat is also great!
      Love
      Niki xxx

    2. Hi Kate, I regularly buy gram flour at ASDA and believe you can get it at other British supermarkets as well. Sometimes it’s called chickpea flour and is sold with rice rather than regular flours.

      Great that the recipe works with buckwheat too though!

      Ania

    3. Hi Kate,

      Most Asian stores and supermarkets in the UK stock Gram flour. Indian section in Asda/Tesco stock it as Besan (chickpea flour). I always buy mine from there and it’s relatively cheap.

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